Greenhouse: glass or plastic

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by MrsTea, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. MrsTea

    MrsTea Khazâd Ai-Mênu

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    Hello,

    I am really sorry if a thread like this already exists - I tried some search keywords, but haven't found the answer that I am looking for.

    I live in Northumberland, and the area can be very windy at times because we live on the top of a hill. The allotment is surrounded by hedges, but they don't really protect the greenhouse which sits pretty much in the middle of the garden.

    The former owner of our allotment built a greenhouse with glass panes but unfortunately over the last couple of years the greenhouse (and garden) hasn't been maintained. The wind has destroyed most of the panes. We are now looking into getting a new greenhouse but are unsure whether to go for glass or polycarbonate. Re-locating the greenhouse is not an option because ideally we'd like to re-use the existing base.

    What would you say is more suitable for a rather windy location?

    Thank you very much!

    MrsTea
     
  2. alexmac

    alexmac Gardener

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    Glass is best full sheet toughened safety glass, I live on the Durham coast and this is the best option in my opinion. I have tried all ways to hold in polycarbonate in place, clips, bar capping,
    clips and silicone sealant together, North east gales destroyed it every time.
    regards Alex
     
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    • MrsTea

      MrsTea Khazâd Ai-Mênu

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      Hello Alex,

      Thank you very much for your reply, and advice. Experience from someone who also lives in the Northeast and who knows how strong the wind can get is very helpful.

      Best regards
      MrsTea
       
    • ARMANDII

      ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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      Safety Glass every time, in my opinion, Mrs Tea, for a Green House. Some of our members who have allotments make great use of plastic sheeting for their polytunnels:coffee::snork:
       
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      • WeeTam

        WeeTam Total Gardener

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        Id go poytunnel with proper polytunnel plastic with extra hoops max 5ft spacing and extra bracing.Should be good enough against anything upto a tornado :yikes:
         
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        • CanadianLori

          CanadianLori Total Gardener

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          I own two small Palram greenhouses. One has twinwall poly, the other is clear. There has never been a problem with them blowing out because their channels to hold them in place are high quality. We get some pretty high winds here and they did not budge.
           
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            Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
          • Sheal

            Sheal Total Gardener

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            I also live in a very windy area on the west coast of the island. Toughened glass is definitely a must and the added weight will help hold the frame in place. My greenhouse is also bolted down to a concrete base.
             
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            • MrsTea

              MrsTea Khazâd Ai-Mênu

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              Hello all,

              Thanks for all the advice. We have a concrete base, and the frame of the existing greenhouse - despite being old and rusty - is very sturdy, it's just that most of the panes are either missing or cracked. At one point we were considering having the panes replaced but haven't found an offer yet that is cheaper than a new greenhouse :what: .

              I will have a look into toughened glass, and let you know as soon as we have come to an agreement.

              Thanks again! :blue thumb:
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                My greenhouse is on an exposed hillside, even in Surrey we do get gales sometimes and mine survived the hurricane in 1987 even though some big trees came down very close. I've never lost a glass pane due to natural events since owning it from 1976, mine are just ordinary horticultural glass. Ok I've lost some down to a neighbour's football and me accidentally catching it moving a paving slab about.

                In recent years I installed an extra vent and 'temporarily' put in a polycarbonate sheet as it was easier to cut to size. I've siliconed the polycarbonate in and added extra glazing clips but that sheet will blow out once or twice a year when the winds get up. One day I'll do the job properly and replace it with glass.

                So another vote for glass from me.
                 
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                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener

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                  When I've bought glass for mine I've always been shocked at how expensive it is, I reckon the toughened is even more.

                  The panes do tend to be standard sizes, so maybe look on ebay for a local seller, I've noticed some around me getting rid of greenhouse glass for next to nothing. Or even on Freecycle/Freegle.
                   
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                  • Sandy Ground

                    Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                    I remember reading some research a good few years back that pointed out that some plant diseases could "ingrain" into plastic. So its another vote for glass from me.

                    Not toughened though, laminated.
                     
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                    • pete

                      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                      Usual reason for wind breaking greenhouse glass is when the wind gets inside, the greenhouse is designed to take external forces but not internal.

                      So you need to be able to secure the door and vents in gales, mine also survived the 87 gales unscathed, pity my house roof didn't.

                      I usually tie down the automatic vents when gales are forecast.

                      Having said that, you cant really stop flying objects causing broken glass.
                       
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                      • CanadianLori

                        CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                        Flying objects bounce off polycarbonate....
                         
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                        • ARMANDII

                          ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                          You shouldn't chuck anything in the first place, Lori:nonofinger::heehee:
                           
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                          • CanadianLori

                            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                            [​IMG]
                             
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